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CCleaner Did It Again: Users Forced to Version 5.46

CCleaner is once again being criticized. The software is forcing an update to the latest version, 5.46, even in cases when users have configured it not to undergo automatic updates. On top of that, once the upgrade is done, the user’s privacy settings are reverted to default.

If this sounds familiar to you – a similar scenario in which user trust was abused happened in August with the previous version of the program, CCleaner version 5.45.

Back then, Piriform was criticized for unwanted data collection. Users could choose to disable the system data collection and Active Monitoring under Options. However, the features would turn themselves on again the next time the program was started.

CCleaner Is Forcing Updates to Version 5.46

It appears that the very same thing is happening again now with CCleaner version 5.46. Users’ complaints were first registered on September 6th on Piriform’s forum where it became evident that their versions of the software were being updated to version 5.46 without their consent and with disabled automatic updates.

What did Piriform say in response to the user reports?
The company said that the upgrades were needed to meet GDPR requirements:

Since the release of v5.46 we have updated some users to this version to meet legal requirements and give users more autonomy and transparency over their privacy settings.

This update has ensured that users are on a GDPR-compliant version that includes the most up-to-date privacy settings available (https://www.ccleaner.com/about/data-factsheet).

Not surprisingly, users found this explanation inadequate. One user, for example, noted that he fails to see “how you can talk about privacy and transparency and at the same time go into a user’s machine, without their permission, and change their software”. Another user remarked that “Avast has been digging CCleaner’s grave ever since they took over Piriform”.

How to Prevent CCleaner from Upgrading Automatically

There is one way to circumvent the unwanted update and it is to delete an executable known as CCUpdate.exe. The file comes along with the installation of the program. Upon installation the program installs the file here: C:\Program Files\CCleaner\CCupdate.exe. Once this is done, CCleaner will run every day automatically with the help of a scheduled task dubbed CCleaner Update.

To prevent CCleaner from running, simply delete the scheduled task. You can also get rid of the executable, too.

By deleting these, you will prevent the program from updating automatically. The program should only update if you decide to install the latest version.

How do you feel about CCleaner?
The majority of users believe that the program has lost its usefulness and credibility the moment Piriform got acquired by Avast. Do you agree with that statement? Let us know in the comments below.

Milena Dimitrova

An inspired writer and content manager who has been with SensorsTechForum since the project started. A professional with 10+ years of experience in creating engaging content. Focused on user privacy and malware development, she strongly believes in a world where cybersecurity plays a central role. If common sense makes no sense, she will be there to take notes. Those notes may later turn into articles! Follow Milena @Milenyim

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